The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

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The Right Stuff is a 1979 book by Tom Wolfe about the pilots engaged in U.S. postwar experiments with experimental rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft as well as documenting the stories of the first Project Mercury astronauts selected for the NASA space program. The Right Stuff is based on extensive research by Wolfe, who interviewed test pilots, the astronauts and their wives, among others. The story contrasts the "Mercury Seven" and their families with test pilots such as Chuck Yeager, who was considered by many contemporaries as the best of them all, but who was never selected as an astronaut. Wolfe wrote that the book was inspired by the desire to find out why the astronauts accepted the danger of space flight. He recounts the enormous risks that test pilots were already taking, and the mental and physical characteristics required for and reinforced by their jobs ("the right stuff"). Wolfe likens the astronauts to "single combat warriors" from an earlier era who received the honor and adoration of their people before going forth to fight on their behalf.

- Wikipedia

The 51st greatest nonfiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 26th on Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time (National Geographic Adventure Magazine)
  2. - 52nd on The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction (The Modern Library)
  3. - 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime (Amazon.com (USA))
  4. - 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction (About.com)
  5. - Great Books (The Learning Channel)
  6. - The 80 Books Every Man Should Read (Esquire)
  7. - The 50 Best Books of the Century (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)

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Paperback
  • The Right Stuff
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    Sales Rank
    24086
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    $4.98
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    Year Published
    2008
  • The Right Stuff
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    Sales Rank
    92858
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    Year Published
    2008
  • The Right Stuff
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    Sales Rank
    1104713
    Lowest New Price
    $5.74
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    Year Published
    2001
  • The Right Stuff
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    Sales Rank
    1453909
    Lowest New Price
    $3.33
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    Year Published
    1983
Hardcover
Kindle Edition
  • The Right Stuff
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    Sales Rank
    14087
    Lowest New Price
    $7.99
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    Year Published
    2004